Elements of Church Music
Term: Yearlong 2021–22, September 7–May 27
Target Grade Levels: 8–12
Schedule: 1x / week, 90 min.
Section 1: M 1:00 p.m. ET with Nicholas Roumas
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Students will learn the basics of Byzantine chanting for use in Orthodox liturgical services. This course will not deal with Western music. In addition to learning how to chant simple hymns in English, students will learn the special notation system used to write this form of Orthodox Church music, as well as the theory of the eight modes (tones). Orientation will also be provided in the ancient and modern historical development of this liturgical art.
No prior knowledge of any kind of music is expected. Students should be prepared to sing.
- Required: An audio recording device. All written materials will be provided electronically by the instructor.
- Recommended:A set of external speakers.
*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.
Nicholas Roumas,originally from rural Massachusetts, now lives in the Midwest. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2013), a certificate in Byzantine Music (2015), a Master’s degree in Theology from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (2016), and a Ph.D. in Theology from Marquette University (2021). Mr. Roumas has translated and composed numerous hymns for Orthodox services, including the book The Musical Ark.
ou will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be a much better solution, as such devices enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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This registration will be finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.